At least, 5 states are now ready to access the Federal Government’s N90 billion budget support loan facility for States, the Federal government said Thursday.
The loan announced by the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun on Tuesday was to assist the states to pay workers salaries and take care of statutory obligations of the states.
The loan which would attract 9% interest rate also has 22 fiscal conditions which much be met by the individual states which may need the facility.
They included biometric capture of all civil servants, establishment of an Efficiency Unit, implementation of Continuous Audit and improvement in Internally Generated Revenue among others.
Briefing Journalists at the end of Federal Economic Council, FEC, meeting at the presidential Villa, Abuja on Thursday, a group of officials, Akwa Ibom State governor, Mr. Emmanuel Udom who spoke on behalf of a group of officials which included the Deputy of Kaduna State, Bala Bantex, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Mr. Okechukwu Enalemah and Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Social Investments, Maryam Uwais stated that 5 states had met the conditions.
He however did not mention the states.
He said: “Honourable Minister of Finance also briefed the Council on the Federal Government’s N90 billion budget support loan facility for States at 9% interest rate. Five States have completed the process for borrowing from the budget support loan”, he said.
He explained that the N90 billion loan may not necessary be called a bailout to states, stressing that the window which has just been opened was necessary to arrest the economic challenges.
He however said that some states may join or decline to accept the facility.
He said: “Though I am not the Minister, I can throw more light on the question. The N90 billion is the same thing as I have mentioned. I wouldn’t want you to call it a bail out. I want to call it the exact name that it is.
“When you are talking about federal state and local government, one thing is sure: we are all Nigerians. And if we also monitor what is happening in the global economy, you will see that there is organizational tool support programme that we are bringing up to actually ease the impact of these global economic issues and Nigeria; it is not too much. The 90 billion and the federal support facility, they are one and the same thing.